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Salt Price to Be Further Regulated
China is scheduled to enforce a decree on managing salt prices from July 1, 2003 to consolidate the salt monopoly system, State Development Planning Commission sources said Friday.

The decree covers the price of salt for direct consumption and food production, including salt for fishing and stock raising uses.

The salt price should be set on the basis of the average cost of salt production and transaction, with the factory and wholesale price being decided and adjusted by the relevant department of the State Council, the retail price and cost of packaging by relevant departments at the provincial level, and the export price of salt by the traders, the decree says.

In principle, the same kinds of salt should have a uniform retail price to ensure its availability for residents in outlying areas, the decree says.

Normally, factory and trade prices of salt are first proposed by the traders to the provincial departments, which in turn submit the proposals to the State Council for final approval. In cases of marked changes in salt production costs causing disputes or strong public reactions, the State Council has the right to adjust the factory and trade price directly, the decree says.

Meanwhile, the decree spelled out penalties for violations. Salt traders have to strictly abide by the decree and bring in the government price requirements on time.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2003)

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